Guild Mortgage Review | Mortgage Lenders

·13 min read
Money; Getty Images
Money; Getty Images

Guild Mortgage is an independent mortgage lender best known for its focus on low credit score requirements and down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers.

The lender also offers an extensive list of mortgage products and services, including government-insured loans, manufactured home mortgages and sustainable home renovations.

Keep reading to get a full picture of what Guild Mortgage has to offer, the lender’s credentials and where it stands in terms of customer satisfaction and user experience.

Table of Contents

  • Guild Mortgage’s Services

  • Guild Mortgage’s Credentials

  • Guild Mortgage’s Accessibility

  • Guild Mortgage’s Customer Satisfaction

Guild Mortgage Mortgage Lenders Overview

Pros

  • Issues government-backed loans (FHA, USDA and VA)

  • Offers down payment assistance programs

  • Considers alternative credit data

  • Earned top scores in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction surveys in 2021 and 2022

Cons

  • Retail branches are limited to 32 states

  • Not licensed in New York

  • No home equity loans or home equity lines of credit

  • The lender doesn't disclose mortgage interest rates online

Guild Mortgage is a mortgage originator and servicer (your loan won’t be managed by a separate company) with a variety of loan programs. The lender also offers financing solutions for homeowners looking to refinance their current mortgage, first-time homebuyers, low-income applicants and even borrowers shopping in highly competitive markets.

In addition to government-backed loans, Guild Mortgage offers jumbo loans, bridge loans, reverse mortgages and financing options for home renovations, sustainability upgrades and manufactured homes.

Prospective homeowners can browse Guild Mortgage’s website, compare its mortgage products and get an idea of what their loan may look like using one of seven different mortgage calculators. Applicants can also initiate the mortgage application process through a quick online form connecting them to a licensed loan officer.

Guild Mortgage uses a hybrid loan closing process (you’ll still have to finalize your mortgage in person), but candidates can submit and sign most origination documents through the lender’s secure MyMortgage online platform and eClosing service.

Guild Mortgage’s Services

Below you’ll find a complete list of Guild Mortgage’s loan products, the lending and application requirements and a list of the estimated closing costs.

How to qualify for a loan with Guild Mortgage:

Minimum credit score requirements:

  • Conventional loan – 620

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan – 540

  • Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) loan – generally 620

  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan – generally 620

  • Jumbo loan – varies, but generally 680 or higher

  • Manufactured home loan – 600

Maximum debt-to-income ratio:

  • Conventional loan – 50% but may be higher if there are compensating factors*

  • FHA loan – 43% but may be higher if there are compensating factors

  • VA loan – 41% but may be higher if there are compensating factors

  • USDA loan – 41% but may be higher if there are compensating factors

  • Jumbo loan – 43% but may be higher if there are compensating factors

  • Manufactured home loan – 43% but may be higher if there are compensating factors

*Compensating factors that may prompt lenders to accept high DTI ratios include, but aren’t limited to: an excellent credit history, significant cash reserves, a sizeable down payment and a stable job history.

Minimum down payment requirements:

  • Conventional loan – 3%

  • FHA loan – 3.5%-10%, depending on your credit score

  • VA loan – 0%

  • USDA loan – 0%

  • Jumbo loan – generally 20%

  • Manufactured home –0%, 3.5% or 5%depending on loan type

Required documentation

Guild Mortgage doesn’t ask for any documents for their initial online application, but you’ll need the following for the actual mortgage application:

  • Valid ID and Social Security card

  • Tax documents from the past two years (W-2 and 1099 forms)

  • Proof of income from the past month or further back

  • Child support, alimony or down payment gift letters, if applicable

  • Bank statements for every checking, savings and investment account

  • List of monthly debt burdens: rent, mortgage, other loans and medical bills

  • Rent payment history, if applicable

Costs and fees

Closing costs typically range between 2-5% of the home value and include expenses such as loan origination fees and application, appraisal, attorney and title insurance fees.

Additional servicing fees:

Guild Mortgage may charge the following lender fees:

  • Late payment fee – varies

  • Non-sufficient funds – $15

  • Assumption fee (changing the individual legally responsible for the loan) – $300-$1,800

  • Automated payment fee (by phone, through a representative or online) – up to $7 depending on where you live

What Guild Mortgage offers

According to the company website, Guild Mortgage’s expertise lies in FHA-backed loans and mortgage solutions for first-time homebuyers, but you’ll also find an extensive list of loan options with fixed and adjustable interest rates.

Types of mortgages:

  • Conventional fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans

  • FHA loans

  • VA loans

  • USDA loans

  • Jumbo loan

  • Renovation loan

  • Bridge loans

  • Reverse mortgage

  • Manufactured home loans

  • Rate, term and cash-out refinance

Additional mortgage programs:

  • Lock and shop: allows borrowers to lock the quoted interest rate for 120 days

  • Down payment assistance (DPA) programs: helps eligible low income borrowers with down payment and closing costs

  • Energy-efficient mortgage: includes the costs of energy-efficient upgrades (solar panels, energy efficient appliances and other upgrades) in the mortgage

  • GreenSmart Advantage: includes the purchasing cost of energy-saving appliances from Home Depot (washers and dryers, smart thermostat, dishwashers, refrigerators) in the mortgage

  • CashPass: facilitates upfront cash purchases for borrowers in competitive housing markets

  • Complete rate program: considers alternative credit data to afford better rates to applicants with insufficient credit history

  • Homebuyer protection: bundles a 120-day interest rate lock with a 17-day closing guarantee and Credit Approval Protection (CAP), which will reimburse inspection and appraisal costs if Guild Mortgage is unable to close the loan due to company error

Loan terms:

Guild Mortgage offers 10 to 30-year terms for fixed-rate mortgages and 5 to 10-year terms for adjustable rate mortgages.

Maximum loan amounts:

Limits for conventional loans set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA):

  • Single-unit home – From $647,200 to $970,800 for high cost areas

  • 2-unit home – From $828,700 to $1,243,050 for high cost areas

  • 3-unit home – From $1,001,650 to $1,502,475 for high cost areas

  • 4-unit home – From $1,244,850 to $1,867,275 for high cost areas

Maximum limits for FHA loans:

  • $420,680 for a single family home in a low-cost area and $1,867,275 for a four-unit property in a high-cost area

Additional limits set by the lender:

  • Jumbo loans – $3 million

  • Bridge loans – $300,000

What Guild Mortgage doesn’t offer

Guild Mortgage doesn’t offer the following loan products:

  • Home equity loans

  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)

  • Construction loans

  • Commercial loans

Guild Mortgage’s Credentials

Guild Mortgage earned multiple performance recognitions by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and outranked larger lenders nationwide in customer satisfaction surveys for two consecutive years.

Licenses and Registrations

Guild Mortgage is licensed in 48 states and the District of Columbia. You can view the official licensing information to verify the lender’s license in your state.

Awards and Certifications

Regulatory or Legal Actions

Guild Mortgage was subject to three regulatory actions from the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) between 2012 and 2018:

  • The lender overcharged interest rates from 2015 to 2017 in California.

  • In 2016, a California-licensed officer originated a mortgage loan in Oregon without the proper licenses.

  • In 2012, the lender agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,500 to the state of Montana.

Finally, in 2020, Guild Mortgage paid a settlement of 24.9 million to the United States for failing to follow FHA lending guidelines, knowingly approving risky loans and collecting Federal Mortgage insurance when said loans defaulted.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, we don’t claim this information is complete or entirely up to date. We recommend you do your own research, as well.

Guild Mortgage’s Accessibility

Guild Mortgage works best for borrowers who want the convenience afforded by digital tools (online pre-qualification, electronic paperwork and faster processing) but don’t want to sacrifice direct interaction with their loan officer.

Availability

Guild Mortgage has over 200 physical branches in 32 states and works with local financial institutions in 48 states and Washington, D.C.

The lender’s online application is designed to connect you to a loan officer, who will let you know which loan offers are available, given your financial situation.

Contact Information

To contact Guild Mortgage, call:

  • (800) 365-4441 for customers with an existing Guild Loan for further questions.

  • (800) 971-3864 for new customers or general inquiries

  • (800) 365-4884 for the lender’s Loan Counseling Department

The lender also accepts mailed inquiries, complaints or requests at:

Guild Mortgage Company

c/o Quality Assurance Department – Borrower Escalations

5887 Copley Dr,

San Diego, CA 92111

User Experience

Users can easily find online explainers and guides for each of Guild Mortgage’s loan products, as well as mortgage calculators and an online application. Applicants can also connect with a loan officer through the website’s chat support.

If the applicant decides to move forward with the loan application, the loan officer will work with them to submit all the pre-approval documents digitally.

According to the lender, borrowers can submit the majority of closing documents digitally and shorten the final in-person closing to just minutes. After closing, homeowners can submit mortgage payments online (a $7 surcharge may apply) or through ACH wire transfers (automatic or one-time) from their checking account.

Any questions or concerns regarding an existing mortgage are addressed by phone or regular mail.

Limitations

Guild Mortgage’s online support runs from 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m PT and there’s no email address for inquiries outside this schedule. Furthermore, the chat serves customers contacting Guild Mortgage with a specific purpose (purchasing, refinancing or servicing a current loan), not general orientation.

Service hours for live phone support also operate on a limited schedule from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT.

Currently, Guild Mortgage offers two mobile apps:

  • Guild-to-Go connects real estate agents with a Guild Mortgage loan officer. Users can refer clients, generate pre-approval letters and monitor the loan process from beginning to end.

  • My Loan Pro offers a pared-down version of the educational content and mortgage calculators found on the website and not much else. The app is poorly reviewed on Google Play and Apple Store due to its limited functionality.

Guild Mortgage’s Customer Satisfaction

Our research for customer satisfaction with Guild Mortgage returned mixed results. The company received top scores in consumer satisfaction surveys, yet the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) documented several customer complaints.

We also read customer reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot, but readers should know that the sample size of these reviews was very small (38 in the BBB and only 1 in TrustPilot).

Customer Complaints

From 2019 to 2022, consumers filed 142 complaints against Guild Mortgage with the CFPB, with 123 of those 407 objections being related to mortgage products, specifically FHA-loans. Most claims have to do with the payment process issues (missing payments, unanswered calls and problems with online accounts and payment platforms).

All complaints filed in 2022 were closed with a timely response from the company, as were the majority of claims filed in the past two years.

Third-Party Ratings

J.D. Power, a firm that analyzes customer data across different industries, publishes annual customer satisfaction rankings based on a 1,000 point scale.

In 2021 Guild Mortgage earned top scores in two surveys: the U.S Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study and the 2021 U.S Primary Mortgage Servicer Study. Then, in 2022, Guild Mortgage still scored above industry average but fell to 6th place in the Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study (previously called the U.S Primary Mortgage Servicer Study).

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) evaluates how likely a business is to respond to customer complaints. In this category, Guild Mortgage earned an -A rating. The second rating displayed on BBB is based on 38 customer reviews, and Guild Mortgage earned one out of five stars.

Common complaints include problems with online accounts, lack of communication, poor customer service and failure to rectify errors that directly impacted the customer’s finances and access to their new home.

Guild Mortgage FAQ

What type of lender is Guild Mortgage?

Guild Mortgage is a direct lender. This means that the company originates and services its own loans, eliminating the need for a mortgage broker and, theoretically, speeding up the mortgage process.

What credit score do you need for Guild Mortgage?

For a conventional mortgage, borrowers need a minimum credit score of 620. FHA loans accept lower credit scores than 540, provided you can pay a 10% down payment. If not, the minimum credit score required is 580.

What is the Guild Mortgage application process like?

Guild Mortgage uses a hybrid application process that combines online tools with in-person service. Applicants and loan officers can send, review and sign the bulk of the loan documents electronically and cut back on the closing day paperwork.

How We Evaluated Guild Mortgage Mortgage Lenders

To evaluate Guild Mortgage, we looked at the lender’s loan products, approval requisites and closing costs. We also checked out the company’s credentials, noting its licenses, awards, certifications and whether it was subject to any regulatory or legal actions.

Finally, we read reviews and complaints from different sources to get a general idea of how the lender fares regarding customer satisfaction.

Note: We reached out to a PR representative from Guild Mortgage and have yet to receive a response.

Summary of Money’s Guild Mortgage Review

Guild Mortgage is one of Money’s best mortgage lenders due to its diversity of loan products and services that strive to make homeownership possible for more people. Homebuyers can apply for conventional loans, mortgage refinancing, home renovation loans, jumbo loans, government-backed loans, down payment assistance and lending programs that consider alternative credit data.

Guild Mortgage may not work for prospective homeowners who want the convenience of an online underwriting process, as the lender still prioritizes face-to-face interaction. That said, the website is well-equipped with educational materials and tools to help applicants initiate their buying process online.

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